Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not Cameron’s (not at all).

Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I know the word “Avatar” doesn’t appear in the official title of this movie, but that’s what I call it so there.

Ever watch a movie with your friend who talks through the entire movie explaining every character and every detail of everything and wont shut up and let you enjoy it? Well that’s what M Night has done here.

Every single character, location and event is explained to us. I guess he thinks we are too stupid to understand what is going on.

Look, I know this is a vast series and there is a lot to cover. It’s like Dragonball. Well, either drop stuff or make the movie 3 hours, or DON’T MAKE IT! That’s right! Don’t make the damn movie!

Anyway, the negative reviews on this film are about bad acting and bad story. Well the story is good and the acting is fine – I really liked the uncle and the prince (zuka?). I also liked the Avatar and I like what was going on. I really liked the use of powers, but what I didn’t like was this juvenile film making.

If you read wikipedia on this it would be the same experience as viewing it, only with viewing it you get some effects. Example. “we went to the water kingdom and my brother liked the princess.” Then NEXT SCENE “You have to meet my grandmother she will ask you about your white hair.” Then we get a PARAGRAPH describing why this girl has white hair! I know it pays off in the end, but why would that guy ask that specific question at that time so we the audience can figure it out. If the hair is important then show us, don’t tell us. This entire film is exposition. I can turn off the volume and just talk through it all.

Let me take Conan the Barbarian for example. It starts with the creation of the sword and Conan’s dad tells him about the riddle of steel. Then Thulsa Doom destroys his village and kills his family. There is NO TALKING after his father tells him the riddle. We understand that Conan is taught that the sword is more trusting than man, and that is the way of his people. The story is told through music and visuals. We are not told who Doom is, or that he is the leader, we only see a guy we assume is the leader killing what we assume to be Conan’s mom. The Avatar version is this: My village was attacked and then the leader of the men, Thulsa Doom and his 2 friends Thorgrim and Rexor killed my mom after using his hypnotizing power against her, then he left and I was taken as a slave to push a big wheel and then I fought as a pit fighter – STOP IT! I wanna watch the movie, not be told it.

When the prince shows up to the village in a similar scene this is what happens: “I am prince zuka of the fire nation, I am the rightful heir to the thrown.” Why does he need to say that? Well, because the audience must be told who he is. Let me learn who he is! I never knew anything about Conan when I watched the movie as a kid, but I can figure out who the bad guy is because I am not a fool, and the movie is SHOWING me by his actions and mannerisms.

Reading this you may think I am exaggerating, but I am NOT. THE ENTIRE FILM is like that. Everything is explained and then explained again, and then again. You don’t understand until you watch it. Gawd I have never been told an entire movie before.

If you want me to give examples verbally on this, call me and I will. Name your movie and I will do it in the Avatar style.

That being said, I liked the fights – which I could see for once and the use of the powers – oh yeah, they explain everything BUT the powers. If there are 20 water benders and SHIPS are attacking, why not RAISE THE ENTIRE OCEAN!!!! Maybe they cannot because they are novices or something – FINE, but if you explain the entire movie, then explain the powers – which is the important stuff anyway! Can you just control water? Or do you have to do those motions (kata) to do it? I believe you have to master the control through kata, then later you can manipulate the elements easier – and I don’t mind trying to figure it out – but when the entire movie is told to me, I start to lose interest and don’t pay attention – why? Because this is a passive experience. I was never drawn into the film or story.

Gawd, so annoying – I think this would’ve been a great series, but it was just blah. I am interested in seeing the show though – I have a feeling its really great since they have time to let me learn about the characters and what they do, instead of just being told about them.

Look, it’s the one they call the BLUE SPIRIT – look, it’s the prince.

That is how it happened in the movie! All of a sudden – new character, then he’s gone in one second and revealed???? What kind of mystery and suspense is that????????????

I may be too hard on this, but honestly it was just irritating when I know this should’ve been much better. I didn’t hate this movie and I actually thought that if they added another 90 mins of NO EXPOSITION, then it would’ve been like Lord of the Rings. You need to have an adventure aspect to it. It’s like someone just gave us the what we needed to know about the story and no actual story – if that makes sense to you.

If you take this a kids movie (for dumb kids) then its probably ok.

But I’m not a dumb kid!



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